Dr. William Glasser, World-Renowned Psychiatrist, Has Passed Away

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William Glasser International want to announce that the counseling and education worlds mourn the loss of an eminent leader and mentor in their respective fields, Dr. William Glasser, creator of Reality Therapy, Choice Theory Psychology and Glasser Quality Schools.

Dr. William Glasser

Dr. William Glasser

What happened in the past that was painful has a great deal to do with what we are today, but revisiting this painful past can contribute little or nothing to what we need to do now.

Dr. William Glasser, world-renowned psychiatrist, author, and creator of both Reality Therapy and Choice Theory Psychology, has passed away peacefully at the age of 88. Surrounded by his wife Carleen and family members at his home in Los Angeles, Dr. Glasser died on 23rd of August 2013.

Dr. Glasser and his first wife Naomi, who died in 1992, had three children, Joseph, Alice and Martin. In 1995 Dr. Glasser married Carleen Floyd. He has lived all of his professional life in the Los Angeles area of California.

Around the world over, 84,000 people have done basic training in Glasser’s ideas and 12,000 have completed his full certification program through William Glasser International.

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, USA, on 11 May 1925, Dr. Glasser reached international fame in 1965 when his ground-breaking book, Reality Therapy, challenged the traditional approach to psychiatry at the time and ever since. As an increasing number of people wished to learn his methods, he founded the “Institute for Reality Therapy” now called “William Glasser International”. Today his ideas on therapy, education, management and personal well-being are taught throughout the world with international conferences every two years. He wrote a total of 27 books, as well as published many articles.

Later he invited the author of Beyond Prozac, Dr. Terry Lynch, to write the foreword to his own book on the dangers of psychiatric medicine: Warning: Psychiatry Can be Hazardous to Your Mental Health. A biography of Dr. Glasser, Champion of Choice is due to be published in coming months.

Glasser believed that “everyone who needs psychiatric treatment suffers from one basic inadequacy: he is unable to fulfill his essential needs.” He believed that whether a person in mental distress exhibited psychotic behaviors, anxiety or depression, that person was in fact opting for the best possible solution available to him or her for the serious need frustrations in their lives. He believed that, in general, these people do not have anything wrong with their brains or brain chemistry but do need to learn new ways of coping with their situations. They may be a product of the past, but not victims of it because they have control of their present and future.

The Reality Therapy he developed to help people with personal distress operates in the present in a caring relationship offered by the therapist with the main aim being to help the person find and learn new ways of dealing with life. Thanks to the influence of others such as William Powers and W. Edwards Deming, William Glasser developed a new psychological theory he was to call “Choice Theory” and published this in 1998. A core tenet of Choice Theory Psychology is that we cannot control others, only ourselves. Dr. Glasser believed that many of the world’s problems at personal, social and even political levels derive from an often unwitting reliance on what he called “external control psychology,” the belief that we can control other people or that they can control us.

Having started his professional life working with delinquent girls, Dr. Glasser always kept a strong interest in both therapy and education. In 1969, he published Schools Without Failure and went on to develop an approach, the Glasser Quality School model, based on Choice Theory. Schools that adopt these ideas experience changes towards a very high level of academic achievement and a very low incidence of discipline problems. There are currently 23 declared Glasser Quality Schools in the US and five internationally, with thousands of school personnel applying Glasser's ideas in their schools and classrooms in unofficial ways.

Countries where people have trained in Dr. Glasser’s ideas include: Albania, Australia, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzogovina, Brazil, British West Indies, Canada, China, Colombia, Croatia, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Egypt, England, Finland, Germany, Grand Caymen Islands, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Korea, Kuwait, Macedonia, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Moldova, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Northern Ireland, Norway, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Republic of Ireland , Republic of Singapore, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United States of America, Ukraine and the United Arab Emirates.

William Glasser International can be contacted through http://www.wglasserinternational.org.

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Kim Olver

Brian Lennon
The William Glasser Institute

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